Prior to the start of the Ellisville last Thursday, commission member Chris Turner read a press release to the audience informing them of two updates from the city in regards to the Walmart development.
Mayor Adam Paul, who was present at the meeting, said he had no prior knowledge of the press release.
First, the city announced the Sansone Group, the company in charge of the project, would double the cash benefit to the Clarkchester apartments tenants who would be displaced because of the project.
Second, the city announced that the estimated cost of the Walmart would be reduced. As a result, the Sansone Group would not seek either a Transportation Development District or Community Improvement tax. Because of the cost reduction, Ellisville residents would save $4.2 million in public funds and it would reduce the future Walmart’s sales tax by 2 percent.
Mayor Paul said after the meeting that he was upset no one had informed him of this press release.
“I’m upset that when a project of this magnitude is cut, I have to find out from a planning and zoning meeting announcement,” said Paul, who opposes the Walmart development. “The mayor has to be kept on top of all the information in a project like this.”
Paul said he was glad $4.2 million in public funds would be cut, but said it was probably not a hard decision for Walmart’s developers.
“They probably just figured out it was not going to be as expensive to build it, so they made this big announcement out of it,” Paul said.
Read our most recent stories on this subject: